Tag Archives: Information

Information Center

A room staffed by professional computer people whose job it is to tell you why you cannot have the information you require.


Wikileaks pros and cons

The big Wikileaks bombshell happened so fastl and so furious it is difficult to judge the real consequences.

Greg Mitchell at Alternet (http://www.alternet.org/authors/6547/) reports a good walthrough the over 90 thousand documents released (full article at http://www.alternet.org/world/147635/wikileaks_bombshell_on_afghan_war:_what_you_need_to_know_).

I’m not for or against this kind of scoop.

Because on one side I put freedom of speech, on the other the risks that are taken in revealing sensitive informations.


iOS 4 Manual delivered

For those having an iPhone with iOS 4 installed or just curious of knowing the features, Kevin Purdy at Lifehacker gives us the direct links to Apple iOS4 manuals (full article at http://lifehacker.com/5574305/apples-ios-4-manual-explains-the-nitty+gritty-of-new-iphones, Apple site at http://support.apple.com/manuals/, TUAW article at http://www.tuaw.com/2010/06/25/apple-releases-iphone-user-guide-for-ios-4/).

Direct links for download at http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/iPhone_iOS4_User_Guide.pdf for iPhones and at http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/iPod_touch_iOS4_User_Guide.pdf for iPod touch.

I only wonder why every time a software is released there’s a quest for finding the manuals in the overload of information that follow the release 🙂

This post as a comment also at http://lifehacker.com/5574305/apples-ios-4-manual-explains-the-nitty+gritty-of-new-iphones and at http://www.tuaw.com/2010/06/25/apple-releases-iphone-user-guide-for-ios-4/2#comments


Digital agenda updated

European Commision on Information society updated the site on Digital Agenda (http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/digital-agenda/index_en.htm).

Worth a look, especially for EU people.


Synthetic organisms: are we going a step too far?

As reported by many information sources (and among them please see the Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703559004575256470152341984.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLETopStories and the Unwanted blog at http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=6143 , Jimmy Rogers –http://twitter.com/loyaleagle– at Geeks are sexy http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2010/05/23/science-is-sexy-whats-the-big-deal-about-synthetic-life/ and at Gizmodo http://gizmodo.com/5543774/immaculate-creation-birth-of-the-first-synthetic-cell), scientists createted the first synthetic organism through DNA recomposition.

Is not a modification of an existing DNA; is a brand new one.

While on one side is really a breakthrough and an opportunity, I fear that we are going a step beyond what nature intended to have.

There are so many variables and factors to consider, that I wonder how we can manage them.

This post also as a comment at http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=6143#comment-10800 , at http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2010/05/23/science-is-sexy-whats-the-big-deal-about-synthetic-life/#comment-253221 and at http://gizmodo.com/5543774/immaculate-creation-birth-of-the-first-synthetic-cell


Facebook open alternative, the solution?

Ryan Singel at Wired writes an article discussing on Facebook changed role and scope. While discussing, Ryan asks some questions on real role of Facebook and if an alternative not driven by the market should be found (full story at http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/facebook-rogue/).

I think that Mark Zuckerberg’s company that started as a place for meeting and sharing has changed into a cash cow.

This is not, of course, bad at all. What is bad is the will to overcome everything and force users at having unwanted behaviours.

This is part induced by the tons of features available and that only a few masters, and part of how much the informations are spreaded for commercial pourposes.

And part by the stupidity of some people that count over anonimity in order to do and act as they wouldn’t in real life.

When you join a Social network, most of the people think of a “healthy” place to share thoughts and informations or to meet people. But this is the good part, because lot of informations remain there available for most of the people (and companies).

As I wrote in another article, if on top of this the owner (Facebook) of infrastructure isn’t capable of managing it, the result is that everyone of us is subject to the risks of sharing informations and, at same time, brings lot of money to those having access to those datas.

I’m not quite sure that switching to an open source alternative is the solution, but I think that a signal to Facebook should be given.

This post as a comment also at http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/facebook-rogue/comment-page-2/#comment-46354


Murdoch and pay per news

Ron Schenone at Lockergnome writes an article reporting that Mr. Murdoch is predicting (threating) that within next year no more free news will be available from his companies (full article at http://www.lockergnome.com/blade/2009/08/06/murdoch-more-threats-to-charge-for-news/).

I agree that quality journalism is not cheap and that “all free” paradigm is not sustainable. Seems to me quite stupid the idea to made everything pay per use, because of crisis times, because of limited resources of families, because people spend a lot for cable and satellite tv.

But what makes me think a lot is the fact that this move is completely useless if not accompanied by a plan to enlarge the possible users basis.

Developing countries cannot afford to pay for every information and information is the basis of freedom and development.

And also without being “populistic” or democratic, on an economic point of view,  the information market for developed countries can be considering quite saturated and so new users should be found in developing countries, but, of course, should be found something that is not on a pay basis.

And I’m confident too that Google will find an innovative way for delivering free quality informations.

Despite of Mr. Murdoch.

This post as a comment also at http://www.lockergnome.com/blade/2009/08/06/murdoch-more-threats-to-charge-for-news/#comment-187916


The future of newspapers

Douglas Wolt at Wired writes an article on possible scenarios in future of newspapers (full article at http://www.wired.com/dualperspectives/article/news/2009/07/dp_newspaper_wired0714).

In this article Douglas foresees a future of information asa a commodity and “One possible future of news as a commodity is hyperlocal information — the sort of thing that’s already becoming popularized by services like Yelp, whose incarnation as an iPhone app offers directions to nearby restaurants and services, complete with with user reviews.”

I think that information as a commodity and hyperlocalized is the near future, while in the mid term an information also that adds the following characteristics will be the target:
– personalization (means not for my cluster, but for me)
– comparability (menas the ability to achieve an information with automatic comparison form different sources)
– scalability (means ability to have relevant informations at a glance and then decide the level of detail)

This post also at http://www.wired.com/dualperspectives/article/news/2009/07/dp_newspaper_wired0714


Google rollercoaster

Yesterday Google went down.

And went down hardly.

And it’s not the first time.

But is really a tech failure or what is experiencing serious outage problems is a model: the model of web based and shared applications.

During the years, we’ve been building an entire migration from local or client server based applications to “webbized” one.

And of course this trend is accompanied and followed by a lot of money in terms of technology, investments and marketing.

But this new paradigm in application deployment is eating up a lot of band and requires an infrastructure that is reliable, bullet-proof and available.

Because the risk is to leave without vital (or not so vital) informations million of user.

Google is at it’s 3rd or so, outage. And that means no informations, documents and applications for many more people than ever.

This make me think if we didn’t run to much faster than technology and prudence counselled.

As Matt Harley writes on Lockergnome, “Despite various efforts to make Google Apps available locally as well, at the end of the day, the applications are considered apps that are made available online. And when these apps go offline, it makes those in the enterprise sector seriously question the value of such application”. (full article at http://www.lockergnome.com/it/2009/05/14/massive-google-outage/)

And that is the point. It’s not only Google apps, it’s the entire paradigm of web apps and informations that is now central for everyone, that needs to be supported by infrastructure.

If infrastructure fails, there’s no reliability. And no reliability brings to drop of investments. And big looses.

I think we put too much (and too early) confidence in web apps and everything that is “webbized” and over stressed the infrastructure needed to run and access all these informations.

Which is the solution?

One solution could be slowing down our webbization, but I think it’s not possible.

The other solution is to invest more and more in infrastructure to enable more reliability. But is able to invest so much in this moment?

Couldn’t be we will approach a big crackdown?

(Part of this article is posted on Wired as a comment to Ryan Singel good article “When Google Goes Down, It Falls Hard” that can be found at http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/05/when-google-goes-down-it-goes-down-hard/, while my comment is at http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/05/when-google-goes-down-it-goes-down-hard/comment-page-1/#comment-28871)


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